Archive for September, 2015





Above is a picture of Jois and Iyengar doing a variation of Chaturanga Dandasana that I did not know even existed until about a month ago.  We practiced this in one of the Sunday classes I attend.  The toes tucked under provides a firmer base to hold this pose.  On the tops of the feet, as shown here, is MUCH HARDER.  We hold it A LONG TIME in Iyengar. It is a pose in it’s own right but also a part of the transition to Urdhva Mukha Savasana.  Try holding this for 5-15 breaths.  CD is one of the poses teachers study a lot and answer a lot of questions about.  There are a lot of theories of the alignment.  Notice in both how the shoulders don’t dip forward.  The chin is forward and not tucked.  A lot of teachers must teach the dipping and head drop because I see it and they are bad habits difficult to teach out of students.

So I totally got my ass handed to me again Tuesday. I hadn’t been to that teacher this summer because I had been busy.  The Sunday teacher also kills me but I forgot how hard Tuesdays were. It was a class emphasizing twisting and we started with some seated work such as bharadvajasana and other simple twists to eventually move into Parvritta Trikonasana on the wall.  My ribs still hurt.  I practice this pose all the time and thought myself pretty adept but putting your hip and shoulders to a wall and grabbing a rope with the top hand just  changes it all.  The wall props force you to align.

Sometimes I think I wasted years in practice not understanding poses and going through the motions.

I was fearful it was going to be a knee class and it was also that.  I call it “knee class” when there a lot of seated virasana or malasana, utkatasana, or padamasana poses. I struggle so much and have a therapeutic practice that someone is helping me with but it is taking a long time to get the flexion back in my right knee.

“In the medical maps of Vedic astrology, the knee is governed by the tenth house: the 30° section of sky through which the sun passes at solar noon. This position is called the “house of karma”, and is also said to confer data regarding a person’s visible career: how they present themselves to the economy of the world. The knee, therefore, is seen as a joint of mundane pursuits.”

Well I have mastered the art of mundane pursuits in my life so it makes sense I have a knee issue, which is actually related to a blood issue.  Another story.   As a person who has practiced a long time, nothing moves much any more and regular poses are obviously hard.  I am relearning them through Iyengar. I thought I knew them.  Plus I can’t let go of that will to do padmasana.  I am also an intensity JUNKIE in yoga, the more intense the better, and most people probably are not.


The mundane is also, well mundane.  Above is Geeta Iyengar practicing Vira II.  So does your Vira II approach anything like this?  You can check out her Dad’s in Light on Yoga and it will look the same.  The thigh is PARALLEL and the back leg DEEPLY ENGAGED. Those Iyengar’s sure have long limbs.

You can learn a lot from pictures.


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